London: Jonathan Cape, 1963. [Historical Fiction] FIRST EDITION THUS. Octavo (19 x 13cm), pp.xx; 7-197; , blank. Publisher's smooth cloth-effect paper over boards, with gilt titles to the spine, top edge tinted orange, in pictorial dust-wrapper. A lightly used copy, jacket with some wear and tear, soiling to rear panel. Remains presentable. This is one of the two recorded bindings with smooth covering material and coloured top edge; a textured cloth without a topstain also exists. Publisher Jonathan Cape first published this tale of a corrupt eighteenth-century rake, mixed with nautical adventure and shipwreck in 1933. The book was re-issued in a New Library series in 1937 before disappearing from the public. Ian Fleming first wrote to Cape requesting a copy as early as 1949, long before his debut as the James Bond novelist. The book was so scarce that Cape forwarded their own file copy, which Fleming returned in February 1950 whilst urging the publisher to reprint. Following his success as a thriller writer himself, and after several times of asking, Cape did eventually re-issue this 'lost ' book by the shadowy, unsung author, with a brand new introduction from Fleming, intended to increase sales. Item #51380
Gilbert B5a (1).